LEGAL letters over the bitter inheritance dispute which cost a father and his two sons their lives in a horrific murder-suicide were found at the scene of a Cork shooting.
he revelation came as gardaí are now investigating whether Mark O’Sullivan (25) was confronted by his father, Timothy ‘Tadhg’ O’Sullivan (59), and younger brother, Diarmuid O’Sullivan (23), in the bedroom of his Asollas home outside Kanturk, Co Cork, before being shot dead.
The bodies of his father and younger brother were later found by gardai some 600 metres from the farmhouse, located off the Castlemagner-Kanturk road.
Both had sustained a single fatal gunshot injury and two rifles were found nearby.
Three legally held firearms in total were recovered by gardaí from both scenes – two rifles and a shotgun.
Post-mortem examinations were conducted on two deceased at Cork University Hospital (CUH) yesterday by Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster.
A third post-mortem examination will be conducted today.
The results of the post-mortem examinations were being withheld by gardaí for operational reasons.
Gardaí are also awaiting the pathologist’s report on whether Mark had been shot a number of times.
The Irish Independent understands that legal letters in relation to the inheritance dispute were recovered from the scene near where the bodies of the father and his younger son were discovered.
Detectives believe the triple tragedy was sparked by the bitter dispute over a family will.
The will – details of which only emerged two weeks ago – would apparently have seen Mark inherit a substantial local farm holding of 140 acres worth almost €2m.
His younger brother had expected a share in the farm holding, but believed he was effectively excluded from inheritance under the proposed will.
Diarmuid had passed his accountancy exams at Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) and was due to be conferred next week with a first-class honours degree.
One local source said Diarmuid had been very upset over the matter in recent weeks with other family members deeply concerned about him.
An Irish Independent source revealed that letters relating to the land dispute were found during the search of the scene as it emerged the two brothers had exchanged legal correspondence over the proposed will.
Detectives are investigating whether there had been a row over the proposed will on Sunday night – with the dispute escalating into a fatal confrontation when the father and two brothers argued again in Mark’s bedroom at 6.40am.
Ann O’Sullivan (60), Tadhg’s wife, ran for help when she heard the shots.
Ms O’Sullivan, who has been bravely battling serious health problems, did not have a mobile phone with her and had to run to a neighbour’s house to alert gardaí .
Detectives now believe that the father and two sons were already dead when they arrived at the scene at 7am. While tensions over the will first surfaced two weeks ago, gardaí stressed that they had no interaction with the family before last Monday’s triple tragedy.
Source: Irish News